Can Buddhisms middle pretentiousness save Journalism?

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Could Buddhism inspire a post-colonial and nonviolent media model that would surmount the technological maelstrom that is destroying time-honored journalism? The rise of social media has led to the collapse of the Eurocentric media model. In a battle for supremacy, editors later the arbiters of firm and gatekeepers of ideas and counsel have ceded control to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and the bloggers.


Adding ill-treat to injury, robots giving out upon algorithms known as pretentious intelligence and machine learning are said to soon replace journalists as soon as prized for their erudition, discretion and perspective.

These were some of the issues discussed at a conference organized in extra Delhi recently below the aegis of International Confederation of Buddhists, titled Asian Buddhist Media Conclave Mindful Communication for encounter Avoidance and Sustainable Development.

Certainly other answers are called for. The spread of fictitious news in the virtual world has genuine world consequences (for instance, in India erroneous and photoshopped Whatsapp messages have pushed mobs to addition verbal abuse and lynching.) The anarchy of the post-truth counsel marketplace raising the banner of free speech has pushed the mainstream newspapers and channels to vie often unsuccessfully as soon as citizen journalists for viewership and relevance.

The realities of economics and falling advertising revenues have pushed media organizations that in the same way as cherished financial credit and objectivity further towards ideological extremes, or, equally worse, into the folds of corporate ownership.



It is tiny astonishment next that academics, scholars and media practitioners are looking for every second models of media and journalism.

Indic-Buddhist media model

As Einstein correspondingly famously observed: No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.

In a up keynote speech, Indian journalist M Gurumurthy envisioned an inclusive post-colonial vision of buildup media that thrives on philosophy and captivation rather than ideology and division.

All narratives feed on ideological prosecution and as a result the think-anew if- not-dismantle-our-dominant-media-paradigms. (We dependence to rescue philosophy from the gas chambers of ideology, Gurumurthy said.) Ideas have an increasingly shorter shelf-life, he said, pointing, for instance, to the now-defunct mainstream neoliberal economics of unfettered financial globalization that nearly pushed the world to the brink of great Depression in 2008.



The secular and inclusive Indic and Asian philosophy that prioritizes dialogue and debate is the habit of the hour because it would guide to a world that is less conflict-ridden and violent.

As General secretary of IBC Venerable Dhammapiya, a Buddhist monk and scholar from Indian give leave to enter of Tripura, cutting out in his speech how journalists should draw attention to the sure aspects of news and withdraw from incendiary narratives (Journalists should not always focus on darkness, but on lightning the candle that brings light.)

Indic Buddhist civilization could contribute to a additional vision of media in the 21st century, said Arvind Gupta, the director of Vivekananda International Foundation, one of the co-organizers of the conference.

Media scholar Kalinga Sevaratne highlighted the habit to back more dialogue between Buddhist traditions and to build narratives that challenge the generally simplistic reporting and writings upon Buddhism as a religion.

Sevaratne, who helped produce a UNESCO-funded Buddhist-inspired media program at Thailands Chulalongkorn University, proposed a human-centric journalism paradigm that could be offered to anyone regardless of religious and diplomatic affiliation.

The meeting discussed the content and duration, and official recognition of such courses, and how best to publicize such novel media methodologies.

Middle-Path Journalism

Buddhist philosophy offers ways in which to not unaccompanied rethink, if not replace, the Western media model but as well as pay for well-ventilated organizing principles and even conceptual norms for a supplementary media model such as Middle-Path Journalism proposed by Bhutanese scholar Dorji Wangchuk.

Wangchuk, formerly media assistant to the Bhutanese royal family, believes that the customary Four Theories of Press and the Fourth land model broadcast individual values and rights even though Middle-Path Journalism prioritizes community well-being over individual freedom.

Dorjis additional model of journalism is heavily influenced by the experience of Bhutan. (It is based upon four pillars of community and collectivism, compassion, commitment and contentment, the last of which is the core concept of Bhutans gross National Happiness).

Already, within the context of Buddhist practice, similar guidelines have been proposed by others including Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, who published social media guidelines for students in 2013 on how to be more mindful very nearly their behavior upon the Internet.

Such guidelines have much import in the wake of growing incident of sexual harassment allegations in the Buddhist community, which the conference in addition to discussed in the context how to better lid Buddhism as a religion.

Mindful Media Network

Buddhist-inspired frameworks can utility as ethical guideposts for mainstream media subsequent to the theories of press, and the mantle of free speech on which it rests, seemed to have been terribly challenged by social media.

To incite instigate a paradigm shift in prevailing media models, the additional Delhi conference pledged to establishment a mindful news network akin to a Buddhist associated Press under the aegis of IBC as without difficulty as training programs for media practitioners.

Buddhist assistant professor and practitioner Shantum Seth disturbed the dependence to include not just academic and conceptual training but meditation practices into any courses upon Asian centric model of journalism. The emphasis upon meditation practice and experience, he said, is precisely what distinguishes Asian models of media from dominant methodologies.

A realizable starting narrowing would be to come up with the money for terse mindful meditation courses, aided by conceptual framework in Middle-Path Journalism, to professional journalists and writers and gradually proceed their strive for audience. These can as a consequence be offered through both press clubs, journalists dealings and further assistant professor institutes.

The intend should be to create mindful and Middle-Path journalism as accessible and palatable to people across religious and national divides just as mindful meditation courses are offered roughly the world, purely based upon their relevance as a solution to the real-world problems.

Tsering Namgyal is a Tibetan journalist and author based in Hong Kong. He is the author of the novel The Tibetan Suitcase and other works. 

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